Gregg Lee Henry is better known to the world simply as "Gregg Henry," the actor who played Mel Gibson's duplicitous partner in Brian Helgeland's directorial debut Payback. He has been an actor for three decades, first vaulting to television fame as Wesley Jordache, Nick Nolte's son in the sequel to Rich Man, Poor Man back in 1976. A favorite of director Brian DePalma, he played the drill-wielding villain in Body Double and has also appeared in DePalma's Scarface, Raising Cain, Femme Fatale and The Black Dahlia . His recent film credits include United 93, Slither, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Big Brass Ring. He has played recurring roles on the television series Family Law, 24, and The Gilmore Girls, and appears as a regular in the new FX comedy "The Riches."
But for as long as he's pursued acting, the piano has been his avocation and boon companion. He worked his way through theatre school playing in bars and cocktail lounges, and during his first weeks in Hollywood found a place as the music director of a waiver theatre. When television success struck, his first paycheck went to cover a visit to the piano dealer.
A few years ago, at the urging of his friend and fellow actor Bruce Greenwood, Gregg began to record his original songs. Greenwood and singer-actor John Lathan provide harmonies and more on Gregg's first four CDs and will do so again on his upcoming fifth release. Gregg's songs have appeared on the soundtracks to the films The Last of Philip Banter and Purgatory Flats. Dwight Yoakam has recorded Gregg's The Back of Your Hand and released it as a single.
So why expand the name?
Actors are a superstitious lot* who believe having three first names is unlucky. It's a belief scoffed at by musicians, so when singing and playing, he lets his full legal name rip. Not a legitimate surname in sight. Not Johnson. Not O'Malley. Just three friendly first names. Gregg. Lee. Henry. Honestly. That's all there is to it.
continues to work on the stage and has received 13 Drama Logue Awards,
an L.A. Weekly Award, the prestigious Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle
Award, and two additional LADCC nominations for his stage work. He often
collaborates with his wife, noted theatre director Lisa James, to produce
and act in her stage productions. Most recently they co-produced Gregg's musical adaptation of Lynn Siefert's Little Egypt at the Matrix Theatre.
|*Actors really are superstitious. You can always spot a group of actors at a restaurant. They're the ones spitting on their knuckles and hurling salt everywhere.|